What is Cold Calling 2.0 ?

Cold Calling 2.0 is a prospecting technique allowing you to prospect new accounts without Cold Calling.

Cold Calling a prospect means that he does not know you and is not expecting your call… not great! Based on this observation, Aaron Ross thought up a new process he could set up at Salesforce.com without using Cold Calling.

This Cold Calling 2.0 technique is part of a more global approach which also gave its name to the book he wrote: Predictable Revenue.

By creating a dedicated prospecting team at Salesforce, the Predictable Revenue / Cold Calling 2.0 technique allowed the sales team to generate 100 million dollars of Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).


After several tests using emailing as the first contact method, Aaron Ross managed to increase response rate with an ingenious idea:

Cold Calling 2.0: the technique

Instead of sending an email directly to the decision-maker, the prospecting  technique 2.0 involves sending an email to his direct manager, or to someone a hierarchical level or two above the decision-maker, asking him to refer you to the right person.

For example, if your decision-maker is the Marketing Director, you would send an email directly to the Managing Director.

The Rules to follow

For Cold Calling 2.0 to work (and more generally, any prospecting approach using Cold Emailing), there are several essential rules to follow:

Don’t send a message that is too sales-oriented, like: “Hello XX, Let me introduce myself. I work for X, we have been selling Y to Z since 1867, blah blah blah…”

On the contrary, the email must be very short and get right to the point (“short and sweet” in the author’s words).  You must remember that by targeting this level of the hierarchy, the person who will receive your email already receives about 200 emails a day.

  1. Your email must be readable in full on a smartphone screen.
  2. The answer must not require more than two seconds at most: either a “yes,” or a click on the “forward” button, etc…

In this email, you will only ask one thing: to speak with the person who manages X, where “X” is the problem your product solves, or a particular function. If your email is straight to the point, there is a good chance the Managing Director will transfer it to the decision-maker.

The decision-maker who receives your forwarded email will generally have no other choice than to make an appointment for a phone call.  After all, it is his boss who is asking him!

In another article, you will discover few examples of emails that use Cold Calling 2.0.

Cold Calling 2.0 benefits

There are many benefits to Cold Calling 2.0:

  • Your prospects already know who you are when you call (Cold Calling 2.0 is not Cold Calling; it’s Cold Emailing!)
  • They normally have a bit more time for you, because you have made an appointment
  • The response rate to emails is higher than that of other techniques
  • Your sales representatives won’t waste any more time trying to reach a prospect, get through the receptionist barriers, end up on voice mail… they can concentrate on their real added value: selling.
  • There is no longer any need to waste time identifying the right decision-maker (and getting it wrong)

To set up a Cold Calling 2.0 / Predictable Revenue strategy, you need to create lists of nominative emails quickly… and that is where Datananas comes in!

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